Someone has posted the video and audio that has been released by city authorities regarding the September 16, 2016, shooting on 36th Street N. in Tulsa. The collection consists of video from three officer dash cams and from the helicopter, audio from the 911 calls, and audio from police dispatch.
Officer Betty Jo Shelby was charged today by District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler with "Manslaughter First Degree, Heat of Passion," a felony violation of 21 O.S. 711, with an alternative charge of "Manslaughter, First Degree, Resisting Criminal Attempt." That link leads to the case file (CF-2016-5138) on the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network, and there you will find the DA's initial filing and the probable cause affidavit from DA office investigator Doug Campbell. Judge James Keeley signed the finding of probable cause and issued a warrant for Officer Shelby's arrest.
The charges read as follows:
21 O.S. 711
BETTY JO SHELBY, on or about 9/16/2016, in Tulsa County, State of Oklahoma and within the jurisdiction of this court, did commit the crime of MANSLAUGHTER - FIRST DEGREE - HEAT OF PASSION, a Felony, The Defendant Betty Jo Shelby, a Tulsa Police Officer encountered Terence Tafford Crutcher in the vicinity of 2300 East 36th Street North in the City and County of Tulsa Oklahoma, and based upon Terence Tafford Crutcher's non-compliant actions and behavior, the Defendant's fear resulted in her unreasonable actions which led her to shooting Terence Tafford Crutcher with a handgun which thereby caused his death.
AND/OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE:21 O.S. 711
BETTY JO SHELBY, on or about 9/16/2016, in Tulsa County, State of Oklahoma and within the jurisdiction of this court, did commit the crime of MANSLAUGHTER - FIRST DEGREE - RESISTING CRIMINAL ATTEMPT, a Felony, the Defendant Betty Jo Shelby, a Tulsa Police Officer encountered Terence Tafford Crutcher in the vicinity of 2300 East 36th Street North in the City and County of Tulsa Oklahoma, and based upon Terence Tafford Crutcher's refusal to comply with her lawful orders, the Defendant unlawfully and unnecessarily shot Terence Tafford Crutcher with her handgun which thereby caused his death.
Philip Holloway, a criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, and certified peace officer for 27 years, has a CNN op-ed calling our attention to Graham v. Conner, a 1989 U. S. Supreme Court case that establishes the standard for reasonable use of force by law enforcement. Holloway evaluates the known facts in light of that standard, but leaves any conclusions to an investigation.
Tulsa Police Department deactivated their Twitter account, according to an emailed news release at 11:46 am, 2016/09/21:
Due to the overwhelming volume of violent and profane posts on the Tulsa Police Department's twitter account it has been deactivated temporarily. We will be maintaining our presence on Facebook.COMMENT:
I have been impressed by the grace with which our local officials -- particularly Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr, TPD Chief Chuck Jordan, DA Steve Kunzweiler, and City Councilor Jack Henderson -- and local activists -- former Councilor Joe Williams and We the People Oklahoma leader Marq Lewis, among others -- and the grieving Crutcher family have responded to this situation. Prompt and determined pursuit of the 2012 Good Friday shooters earned the city some benefit of the doubt in the community. The willingness of all concerned to speak face to face, rather than talking past each other in the media, may be why Tulsa has been spared the destruction that has happened in other cities.
I am not impressed with local and national voices who are jumping to impose their narrative on the situation before all the facts are known and the process is complete.
For example, Sean Hannity had KRMG's Russell Mills on his radio show via phone on Wednesday. When Hannity tried to push a claim that he had "inside info" from TPD about Crutcher's warrants and criminal history, Mills responded with "just the facts" -- which wasn't as helpful to Hannity's narrative. Mills was being his usual professional self, sticking to substantiated facts. Hannity seemed very annoyed that the guy at the local affiliate wasn't backing his narrative, and he switched away from Russell very quickly to bloviate with a couple of his fellow bloviators. (I stopped listening to Hannity months ago, but on Wednesday I was in the middle of a long drive, scanning the dial for something to hold my attention.)
To my friends who are slamming the DA for filing charges so soon: Steve Kunzweiler is an experienced criminal prosecutor who ran the criminal division of the DA's office before winning the open seat in 2014. He was never involved politically until that election. I trust him to know what elements have to be present to constitute probable cause. If you have doubts, I urge you to click that case link above and read the probable cause affidavit, which appears to take Officer Shelby's claims at face value, and yet finds that the use of force was not reasonable under the circumstances she describes.
How many states are in full compliance with the REAL ID act? How many states have an exemption that expires on October 10, 2016? How many states are already out of compliance?
If you were just learning about the issue from local news and social media, I can see how you might have come to the conclusion that 49 states and all the territories were already in full compliance and the only holdout was backward, ignorant Oklahoma, led by our Bible-besotted legislators and that awful Mary Fallin who stupidly believe that REAL ID is practically the Mark of the Beast. If you're only reluctantly an Oklahoman, if you already hate our state's religiously-influenced cultural conservatism, the apparent practical consequences of REAL ID non-compliance serve as a hefty cudgel with which to beat your favorite straw man.
For example, this News 9 story received a lot of social media play early this week:
OK Licenses Will No Longer Be Accepted For Access Onto Military Bases By Dana Hertneky, News 9
MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma -
Your Oklahoma driver's license many not get you on military bases after October 10. Oklahoma legislators failed last session to make our Oklahoma Driver's licenses REAL ID compliant, and the current extension expires October 10. Without another extension, visitors to the bases will no longer be able to use their Oklahoma driver's license for identification.
HGL Construction does work on all three military bases in Oklahoma. During a recent site visit they were told that after October 10, an Oklahoma driver's license would no longer be an acceptable identification to get them on base.
"It will require not only HGL, but our subcontractors to secure passports, which most of our subcontractors wouldn't necessarily have," said Patrick Renshaw, the VP and Director of Preconstruction for HGL Construction.
Public Affairs officers at the bases say the new rules will also affect delivery drivers and even family members visiting the base for graduations or ceremonies. At Ft. Sill, they are warning loved ones now about the change, so they have time to get the necessary documentation.
There's some important context that the story doesn't give you. The limits on access to military installations is nothing new. It's been decades since a driver's license was sufficient for unescorted access to a military base. On some bases, a federal Common Access Card (available to some contractors on a strictly controlled basis) is sufficient, but on others, you also need to present a background check to the base pass office to get a separate, base-specific pass, and on still others, you'll need a vehicle pass as well.
The most important context missing from the story is that Oklahoma is not alone in its REAL ID non-compliance. Here is the Department of Homeland Security's list (retrieved today) of the status of driver's licenses from each state and territory:
(A) 23 states and the District of Columbia are considered fully compliant.
(B) 24 states, Guam, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands "have an extension, allowing Federal agencies to accept driver's licenses from these states until October 10, 2016."
(C) American Samoa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Washington are non-compliant and do not have an extension. Federal agencies may accept Enhanced Driver's Licenses (equipped with an RFID chip and valid for land and sea border crossings) that are available to Minnesota and Washington residents.
Oklahoma is in category B, along with California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, and Massachusetts -- some very big company indeed.
New York State is telling its citizens that, despite the impending expiration of their extension, there's no need to worry for another four years:
Can I board a plane with the driver license I have now?
Yes. DMV expects that all licenses and ID cards issued by New York State will remain acceptable for domestic flights and for access to federal buildings until October 1, 2020.
What happens after 2020?
Starting in October 2020,New Yorkers will need a REAL ID compliant license to board a domestic flight or enter a federal building without secondary forms of identification, as per the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
New York State has been granted an extension to the REAL ID Act only through October 10, 2016. What does that mean?
The extension's 2016 expiration is no cause for concern, as DHS grants extensions only on an annual basis and New York State anticipates having a REAL ID extension until becoming fully compliant with the Act. That means New Yorkers can continue to use their current state-issued driver license or ID card to enter federal buildings or board a domestic flight until October 1, 2020.
Do I need to worry about this now?
No. All New York licenses and ID cards are currently acceptable for REAL ID purposes and DMV expects them to be until October 1, 2020.
Since Congress passed REAL ID in 2005 as a rider on a must-pass appropriations bill, there's been a kind of gamesmanship happening. DHS doesn't want to acknowledge widespread rebellion against this Federal overreach. They prefer to pretend that most non-compliant states are moving toward compliance, and as long as a state plays along -- periodically requests an extension, presents some plausible excuses (e.g. fiscal constraints), and professes progress toward compliance -- DHS is happy to grant an extension. The only states tarred with the scarlet non-compliance label are those who are making no pretense to compliance.
Those forces that want Americans to have to obtain what amounts to an internal passport, linked to a central database, use media to activate the herd mentality. They want to convey the impression that each non-compliant state is alone, and it's time to get with the program. But as long as non-compliant states (especially the larger ones) stick together, Federal agencies will have to continue to grant extensions. Enforcement would create enough inconvenience for federal agencies and citizens that have to interact with them to generate calls for repeal.
Why should you care? Civil liberties organizations have raised objections to the REAL ID plan since its inception, citing threats to liberty, privacy, and the security of your identity. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), CATO Institute, Electronic Freedom Foundation, the left-leaning ACLU, and the right-leaning ACLJ have all come out in opposition to REAL ID. Here is an excerpt from EPIC's REAL ID page:
EPIC and 24 experts in privacy and technology submitted detailed comments (pdf) in May 2007 on the draft regulations explaining the many privacy and security threats raised by the REAL ID Act. The fundamentally flawed national identification system is unworkable and the REAL ID Act must be repealed. In particular, the group admonishes DHS for its failure to include adequate privacy and security safeguards for this massive national identification database. DHS's own Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee has refused (pdf) to endorse the agency's plan. "The Committee feels it is important that the following comments do not constitute an endorsement of REAL ID or the regulations as workable or appropriate."
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff released the agency's final regulations for REAL ID on January 11, 2008. The Secretary scaled back some of the requirements, reduced the cost, and extended the deadline for state compliance. However, Secretary Chertoff also indicated that the REAL ID card would be used for a wide variety of purposes, unrelated to the law that authorized the system, including employment verification and immigration determination. He also indicated that the agency would not prevent the use of the card by private parties for non-government purposes. As part of the cost-saving effort, Homeland Security has decided not to encrypt the data that will be stored on the card.
In an opinion column written by Secretary Chertoff after the publication of the final rule, he said, "embracing REAL ID" would mean it would be used to "cash a check, hire a baby sitter, board a plane or engage in countless other activities." This is a description of a national identification system, which is illegal in the United States. When it created the Department of Homeland Security, Congress made clear in the enabling legislation that the agency could not create a national ID system. In September 2004, then-DHS Secretary Tom Ridge reiterated, "[t]he legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security was very specific on the question of a national ID card. They said there will be no national ID card."
In a detailed analysis (pdf) of the final rule, EPIC explained that the Department of Homeland Security's REAL ID system includes few protections for individual privacy and security in its massive national identification database. It harms national security by creating yet another "trusted" credential for criminals to exploit. The Department of Homeland Security has faced so many obstacles with the REAL ID system that the agency now plans an implementation deadline of 2017 -- nine years later than the 2008 statutory deadline. It is an unfunded mandate that would cost billions, with the burden ultimately being placed on the individual taxpayer.
Technical experts familiar with the challenges of privacy protection and identification presented the Department of Homeland Security with a variety of recommendations that would have minimized the risks of the REAL ID system. The DHS made some modifications, but left the essential system in place. As REAL ID currently stands, the costs are many and the benefits are few. EPIC also detailed the State rebellion against REAL ID.
EPIC urged the alternative model of a system of decentralized identification. This reduces the risks associated with security breaches and the misuse of personal information. Technological innovation can enable the development of context-dependent identifiers. A decentralized approach to identification is consistent with our commonsense understanding of identification. If you are banking, you should have a bank account number. If go to the library, you should have a library card number. If you rent videos from a store, you should have a video rental store card number. Utility bills, telephone bills, insurance, the list goes on. These context-dependent usernames and passwords enable authentication without the risk of a universal identification system. That way, if one number is compromised, all of the numbers are not spoiled and identity thieves cannot access all of your accounts. All of your accounts can become compartmentalized, enhancing their security. View the full report: Marc Rotenberg & Melissa Ngo, EPIC, REAL ID Implementation Review: Few Benefits, Staggering Costs (pdf) (May 2008).
I suspect that some REAL ID proponents support it mainly because of the perceived benefits for immigration enforcement. Other proponents may have a commercial interest -- providing the enhanced cards and the machines that produce them or the IT systems to manage the data gathered. Law enforcement might find it easier to do their jobs if your life was less compartmentalized. Commercial entities see financial opportunity in linking data among various aspects of your life; you may have noticed, in the move from computers to smart phones, that you have to use a single ID from Apple or Google to access various apps, and you have to give those apps permission to crawl around all the data that other apps have generated. Even if the Federal Government fails to establish a universal ID, Apple and Google may succeed.
Here's what EFF has to say about REAL ID:
Once the IDs and database are in place their uses will inevitably expand to facilitate a wide range of surveillance activities. Remember the Social Security number started innocuously enough but it has become a prerequisite for a host of government services and been coopted by private companies to create massive databases of personal information. A national ID poses similar dangers; for example because "common machine-readable technology" will be required on every ID the government and businesses will be able to easily read your private information off the cards in myriad contexts.
Real ID won't just cost you your privacy. The federal government didn't give the states funds to implement the law and overcome its many administrative burdens so the billions of dollars in costs will be passed down to you in the form of increased DMV fees or taxes.
And what will you get in return? Not improved national security because IDs do nothing to stop those who haven't already been identified as threats and wrongdoers will still be able to create fake documents. In fact the IDs and database will simply create an irresistible target for identity thieves.
Kaye Beach is a Norman-based activist fighting against REAL ID and government collection of biometric information. Her Constitutional Alliance website has a helpful FAQ about biometrics. Her chilling summary:
We are being enrolled into a single global biometric identification system that links a person's body using biometrics to their ability to buy, sell, travel and work....
It is most important to note that ALL states meet Real ID benchmark #1 "Mandatory facial image capture and retention of such image." No matter whether your state is Real ID compliant or not, if you possess a state driver's license or photo ID card, you have been enrolled. The same is true for other government photo ID's such as a military ID or a US passport. These high resolution digital images are a biometric suitable for use with facial recognition technology and we know that at least 37 states are currently utilizing the facial biometric with facial recognition technology.
It is the capture of the biometric combined with the application of international standards that is at the heart of enrollment into a single global system of identification and control.
Beach writes that mandatory biometric identification shifts the balance of power from people to government, transforms rights into privileges, and destroys the presumption of innocence.
Her Constitutional Alliance co-founder, Mark Lerner, explains how this technology can have a chilling effect on the free exercise of our First Amendment rights:
The good news is now that the Snowden revelations have revealed to a large degree the domestic surveillance taking place, the public knows more about what OUR government is doing. The bad news is the chilling effect creating a surveillance state has on a representative form of government.
The chilling effect can be simply defined as the way in which people alter or modify their behavior to conform to political and social norms as a result of knowing or believing they are being observed. The observation can be from physical surveillance, telephone meta data being collected, emails being intercepted and read, search engine requests being maintained, text messages being read and stored, financial transactions being monitored and much more.
A bit of silliness in the form of a YouTube playlist:
Josh Hawkins and Rhys Keir explain how to speak Australian and, in a second video, how Australians abbreviate names. The third video features Hawkins with an adorable six-year-old girl who translates his phrases into formal English.
Hawkins is the minister to young adults for St. Paul's Castle Hill Church in Sydney.
Later in the playlist, I've got some videos from the Film Australia Collection -- short subjects produced in the 1950s and 1960s aimed at attracting immigrants -- and a historical documentary on the evolution of Brisbane's main shopping street over 170 years of history.
Time flies. The five-year-old boy I took to the zoo -- and kept away from the TV and the radio -- the day the terrorists flew planes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center is on his way back to college after a short visit home.
Sonia Shah was just two years older than my son on that day. She is now a 22-year-old senior at Baylor, and she recently spoke to the Associated Press about how the death of her father, University of Tulsa and Memorial High School graduate Jayesh Shah, who worked on the 103rd floor of the north tower for Cantor Fitzgerald, has motivate her to serve refugees:
Sometimes, after refugees told her their stories of conflict and loss, Sonia Shah would let them know that she had one, too.
Explaining that her father died in 9/11 opened 'a bonding moment,' says the Baylor University social work student, who spent the summer volunteering with refugee aid organizations in Greece.
Her father, Jayesh 'Jay' Shah, was killed at ground zero, where he was a financial trading technology executive. Sonia was 7.
His death fueled Sonia's impulse to try to help where others turn away.
'Because I had faced loss at such a young age and in such a different way than many other people, I recognized hardship in other people's life a lot more easily,' says the 22-year-old senior, who took a year off from college for religious study. She says that without her faith, she 'wouldn't be as whole and as healed.'
Say a prayer for Jay's family, who deeply miss their brother, son, husband, and father. This 2002 story from the Houston Chronicle tells about Jay's family and their desperate search through the streets of New York for hopeful news that never came.
The Daily Mail piece also features Ronald Milam, Jr., the 14-year-old son of Muskogee native U. S. Army Major Ronald Milam, Sr., who was killed in the attack on the Pentagon, Ronald Jr.'s mother, then-Air Force Capt. Jacqueline Milam, who was pregnant with him on the day of the attack, was at the Pentagon that day as well, but escaped. Ronald Jr. wears the number 33 on his basketball jersey to honor the father he never met, who was 33 years old on 9/11/2001. The Muskogee High School gym was renamed in 2002 to honor Maj. Milam, who had been a four-year starting point guard for the team and went on to a basketball scholarship and bachelor's degree from Eastern New Mexico State University.
Many of the links from previous years are reprised below, as they remain excellent resources for refreshing our collective memory and, I hope, rekindling our resolve. Here are a few newer items worthy of note:
On Facebook, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote:
Today we mark 15 years since the terrorist attacks on 9/11. We remember the victims. We embrace their loved ones. We stand with our greatest ally the United States of America and with other partners in the battle against militant Islamic terrorism that spreads its fear, its dread, its murder around the world.
Our memories are long, our determination is boundless. Civilized societies must band together to defeat these forces of darkness, and I'm sure we will.
Actor Steve Buscemi, who had served as a New York City firefighter in the early 1980s, returned to duty on 9/11, working 12-hour-shifts to help his old company in the search for survivors. His involvement didn't become generally known until years later:
The day after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Steve Buscemi, who worked as a firefighter from 1980-1984, showed up at his old fire station, Engine Company No. 55 in the Little Italy section of New York.
For the next week he worked 12-hour shifts, digging through the rubble trying to find the bodies of missing firefighters, all the while refusing to do interviews or have his picture taken.
"It was a privilege to be able to do it," the 45-year-old actor said. "It was great to connect with the firehouse I used to work with and with some of the guys I worked alongside. And it was enormously helpful for me because while I was working, I didn't really think about it as much, feel it as much.
"It wasn't until I stopped that I really felt the full impact of what had happened. It would have been much harder for me to get through it if I hadn't been able to do that."
Politico has collated the memories of those who were traveling with President Bush on Air Force One on 9/11.
Al Perrotta tells the story of his big sister Dodie, an Air Force intelligence analyst who was at work in the Pentagon on 9/11:
As they were for millions of Americans, the next hours are a jumble of nightmare images and frantic phone calls. Dodie called my mom from a hotel on Route 1, where she had walked from the Pentagon. My mother and Julie forced their way to the hotel through the traffic. Unable to make a turn to the hotel because of the gridlock, my 80-year-old mother jumped out of the car and leaped over a road barrier in an effort reach her daughter, only Dodie was nowhere to be found. The hotel had forced the Pentagon survivors to leave and continue their exodus down Route 1, as tens of thousands of Federal workers ordered out of DC were heading en masse in that direction. (Osama bin Laden and friends are lucky to have met their end at the hand of Navy Seals and drone strikes. Had our mother gotten hold of them that day or any other their deaths would not have been so quick and merciful.)
For hours no one knew where Dodie was. She ended up walking seven miles to the King Street Metro station in Alexandria before my brother-in-law found her. Seven miles on the one day in decades she had not brought sneakers to work....
Dodie was furious at the actual attack and the al-Qaeda terrorists. Furious at herself for having left the sneakers at home and being forced to walk miles in heels and bare feet. She was also furious because the U.S. intelligence community knew an attack was in the works and was working around the clock to put the pieces together, but had been stifled by "walls" the Clinton Administration had put in place limiting what the various intelligence agencies could share with each other.
In fact, she revealed years later that the real reason she had to miss my wedding in the spring of 2001 was because of high-level top-secret meetings dealing with the looming threat.
There was something else she did not reveal to me until just a couple years ago -- always looking to protect her little brother. The morning of 9/11 she had been scheduled to meet with her Navy counterpart over in his new offices. At the last minute he said, "Why don't I come over your way since I have to be over in that part of the Pentagon anyway."
They were meeting when the building shook. Aware of the attack in New York, Dodie told him "We've been hit." Indeed. The wheel of American Airlines Flight 77 had just slammed through her colleague's conference room. His offices were incinerated. But for chance, both of them would have been killed....
Dodie had made it home safely on 9/11. And yet come dawn September 12th, after fully absorbing the horror of what had happened, her feet still swollen and sore, she --and thousands of her civilian colleagues -- left the safety of home, made the long, slow commute, walked past rows of emergency vehicles and heavily armed Marines, and entered a building still on fire. With smoke and the stench of death still in the air, Dodie sat down at her desk and set herself to the task of helping defend the nation.
Here Is New York has added a site called Voices of 9/11, video interviews with 500 eyewitnesses, recorded in 2002 and 2003.
Theologian Ravi Zacharias considers the stories of rescue and loss 15 years ago and asks, "Where was God?" As a prologue, he writes:
As some would continue to perpetrate the myth of progress, we live on this fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 under the cloud of a world dramatically changed since that terrible day. Anyone who travels sees and feels what a murderous ideology has done to our world. May we never forget what happened and ever be in pursuit of wisdom and courage to deal with those whose philosophy thrives on hate. Our prayers are for the families that lost a loved one and with gratitude for those who came to the rescue.
Civilization is always threatened by ideologues who embrace the moment and lose sight of the essential value of every human life. Answers will only be found in embracing the God of love and living by his precepts. Loving God and our fellow human beings are the two laws on which all other laws stand. May God guide our leaders. The Scriptures call us to understand the times and know what to do (see 1 Chronicles 12:32). May we be faithful.
Le Figaro has a montage of amateur video taken in lower Manhattan the morning of 9/11, including a clip of the first plane hitting the North Tower. The images and language are unfiltered and may be disturbing. This clip comes via Ace of Spades HQ. Ace writes:
I'm linking it because this pulls no punches. It is not sanitized. It includes screaming in horror, and f-bombs, and blasphemies (the "JFC!" one), from people recording the attacks on their cell phones.
I'm linking it just because it's something we don't see much in American media, where things tend to be sanitized, Because Backlash.
Last year, Bookworm Room reminded us why we need to remember:
Last year on 9/11, my remembrance post looked at how our political class, led by Barack Obama, seemed to have forgotten every lesson learned from 9/11. Under his aegis, I pointed out, our borders were meaningless, the always dangerous Middle East was a swirling mass of chaos, and ISIS was cutting a bloody swath through that benighted land. This year, things are worse.
Obama's Middle Eastern policies -- policies that systematically destabilized Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Egypt, and that enabled anarchy in Syria and ISIS's rise -- have led to the largest migrant crisis since Rome's downfall....
The worst irony of today's 9/11 anniversary, though, is that yesterday, the fourteenth anniversary of the day before the world changed forever, the Obama-led Democrat party took steps to ensure that 9/11, rather than seeing the peak of Islamic terrorism, will begin to look like a dry run, just as the 1993 World Trade Center attack was a dry run....
With every passing year, 9/11's emotional resonance lessens, with September 11 becoming nothing more than a sad story rather than both a national tragedy and a wake-up call. Even worse, too many of the younger generation don't even have a textbook acquaintance with 9/11. Our continued survival as a free nation demands that we remember 9/11 in a way that enables us to understand the lessons it teaches about the nature of evil and about the evil nature of radical Islam, whether it emanates from Sunni or Shia Islamists.
Ben Domenech, writing at The Federalist, calls 9/11 the day America forgot. Far from producing change in attitudes and behaviors, nothing much changed after a month or so of bipartisanship and resolve.
From news.com.au: 30 pictures of 9/11 that show you why you should never forget.
As we remember the victims and the efforts of the brave rescuers, we must also never forget the enemy that attacked us and which still seeks our destruction.
The Telegraph has a first-person feature story about Jesse Morton, who was recruited into radical Islam while in jail, deepened his involvement after his release, but has since de-radicalized himself and is working with authorities. He has some thoughts on what causes radicalization and how it can be stopped.
It was a radical imam in Richmond jail who had first told me about Islamic prophecies of the end of the world. So on 9/11, as the planes smashed into the Twin Towers, resulting in the deaths of 2,996 people, I saw that those prophecies would come true. I had been radicalised to such an extent that my sympathy would be with al-Qaeda.
In the Koran and the Hadith (the compiled sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), I found an abundance of verses that I believed justified heinous violence in support of the establishment of an Islamic state for the whole world. Yet for my entire life before I became a Muslim, I had completely rejected and opposed violence....
When I was released from Richmond prison a few years later, I moved to the next level of involvement with Islamist extremists. Through the Islamic Thinkers' Society in New York, I came into contact with Anjem Choudary, who was beamed into our meetings from the UK to give us instruction....
By then, I was so committed to the ideology that al-Qaeda and others were promoting, I believed their view, which divided the world into an "in" group of Muslims and an "out" group of everyone else, to justify acts of violence and atrocities such as 9/11....
Islam gave me the structure I craved. My high IQ then won me scholarships and, from 2007, I studied for a Masters in International Studies at Columbia University. But I was living a double life - as Jesse Morton in class, and Younus Abdullah Muhammed elsewhere. My radical views could have been recognised by the university, but weren't. I now believe we must train teachers better to key into their students for early signs of radicalisation....
When, in 2010, the animated comedy series South Park depicted the Prophet Muhammad, I posted the addresses of the show's creators online and encouraged extremists to attack them. For this, I was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in jail.
Deradicalisation for me was a process, not an event. Incarceration was one factor for change, but other things made me realise the impact on others of what I had done. My marriage had broken up under the strain of what had happened, and I was looking at never seeing my two young children again. Slowly, I was realising that my deeds had consequences, whereas previously I had assumed I had divine protection.
Effectively, I self-deradicalised. I cut myself off from anything that would pull me back towards jihadists, but it was my decision to co-operate with the law enforcement community, providing them with intelligence, which stopped me being locked up with other terrorists and gave me the space I needed to reflect.
Andrew McCarthy, who lead the prosecution of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, writes that blindness to the Islamist threat has become official policy:
When I wrote my "Memoir of the Jihad," willful blindness was an ingrained conscious avoidance of the abundant evidence of the threat posed by Islamic supremacism -- the ideological commitment to coerce acceptance of sharia law, by force if necessary. It was a head-in-the-sand approach to easily accessible proof that the threat is rooted in Muslim scripture and a mainstream interpretation of Islam that stretches back over a millennium. Alas, apologists of the See No Islam school cannot seem to make the jihadist carnage go away. We're way beyond that. Now, it is compelled blindness, a tireless campaign to erase the abundant evidence, to make it inaccessible. Alas, apologists of the See No Islam school cannot seem to make the jihadist carnage go away. But they work feverishly to make sure you can't see what causes it. Or, if you do get a glimpse -- because the carnage and its animating ideology are inextricably linked, and because jihadists are actually quite anxious to tell us why they do what they do -- the apologists warn that you'll keep your mouth shut if you know what's good for you....
Fifteen years after 9/11, al-Qaeda has revived. Its breakaway faction, the Islamic State (formerly, al-Qaeda in Iraq) is our current obsession -- and there are some understandable reasons for that, since the Islamic State controls major swaths of territory in the Middle East and projects terror into the West. But al-Qaeda is resurgent and as much a threat to America as it was in the late Nineties.
After 9/11, the American people seemed resolved to defeat jihadist terror. Today, the United States government is a major financial benefactor of Iran, the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism -- a regime that regards our country as its mortal enemy. Iran has a longstanding practice of abetting al-Qaeda. The Obama administration now has a practice of supplying Iran with plane loads of untraceable cash.
A threat can be repelled only by seeing it for what it is, understanding what it wants to accomplish, and exhibiting the will to deny it, however long that takes. Erasure is not a strategy. Fifteen years ago, we seemed to know that.
Bosch Fawstin, who calls himself a "recovering Muslim," says we need to stop pretending that the problem is some radical variant of Islam, or Islam with a qualifying adjective or suffix.
There is Islam and there are Muslims. Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don't aren't. But that doesn't mean we should consider these reluctant Muslims allies against Jihad. I've been around Muslims my entire life and most of them truly don't care about Islam. The problem I have with many of these essentially non-Muslim Muslims, especially in the middle of this war being waged on us by their more consistent co-religionists, is that they give the enemy cover. They force us to play a game of Muslim Roulette since we can't tell which Muslim is going to blow himself up until he does. And their indifference about the evil being committed in the name of their religion is a big reason why their reputation is where it is....
Non-observant Muslims are not our problem, but neither are they the solution to our problem. Our problem is Islam and its most consistent practitioners. There is nothing in Islam that stays the hand of Muslims who want to kill non-Muslims. If an individual Muslim is personally peaceful, it's not because of Islam, it's because of his individual choice, which is why I often say that your average Muslim is morally superior to Mohammad, to their own religion. The very rare Muslim who helps us against Jihad is acting against his religion, but that doesn't stop some among us from thinking that his choice somehow shines a good light on Islam. It doesn't. A good Muslim according to us is a bad Muslim according to Islam....
Objectively good human beings, who identify themselves as Muslim, give Islam a good face, one far better then it deserves. This only gives us a false impression about what it is we're facing, with just another excuse not to face it. And this leads to our acceptance into our culture of stealth jihadists who have figured out how to say what we want to hear, while they scheme behind the scenes to further Islamize the West.
A year after the attacks, an exhibit of photos showing the aftermath, recovery efforts, and the indomitable spirit of New Yorkers toured the nation and is still online: Here Is New York.
The History Channel has moved its 9/11 content. There used to be an interactive site on the 9/11 attacks here, but it seems no longer to be on the web, and the archived version appears to be incomplete.
The ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11 told the story of the events, beginning with the 1993 World Trade Center attack, that led to the 9/11/2001 attack. Because it put certain American politicians in a bad light, it has not been rebroadcast in the US, and the original version is hard to find, but not impossible for the tech savvy. You can watch a documentary about the political pressure that led to the censorship of the mini-series, "Blocking the Path to 9/11," on the Internet Archive.
Video / audio from the day:
FAA, American Airlines, & NORAD real-time audio as air traffic controllers, airline officials, and military officials became aware of and responded to the attacks.
WNBC live coverage
Fox 5 live coverage
CNN live coverage
Footage from Hoboken, N.J., on 9/11: "Footage from September 3rd and 11th 2001 in Hoboken, NJ by Bruce Miller, Brad Miller, and Michael Frank and in Manhattan on September 19, 2001 by Bruce Miller. And some subsequent footage I shot during the 6-month Tribute in Light and Fleet Week 2002." Hoboken is directly across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan.
Some personal recollections of the day:
New York singer/songwriter Beth Sorrentino wrote this song, "Beautiful Day," a week after the attacks. "It's a reflection and narrative of the events of that day and people I knew who were there, and worrying about their safety."
Presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer offers his account of 9/11 with President Bush aboard Air Force One, and the threat that the president's plane might itself be compromised by terrorists.
In 2009, HotAir blogger Allahpundit tweeted his memories of the day. He lived in downtown Manhattan, not far from the World Trade Center.
Gerard Vanderleun was watching from Brooklyn Heights when the towers fell, recording his observations online: "Lower span of Brooklyn Bridge jammed with people walking out of the city, many covered with white ash. Ghosts. The Living Dead. BQE empty except for convoys of emergency vehicles."
Rusty Weiss says, "9/11 saved my life," shocking him out of complacency as a responsibility-shirking young man.
Robert Spencer lists ten things we should have done since 9/11 to defeat Islamism, but we haven't because of political correctness. Number 4 rings a bell:
It is remarkable that thirteen years after 9/11, not a single mosque or Islamic school in the U.S. has any organized program to teach Muslims why the al-Qaeda/Islamic State understanding of Islam is wrong and should be rejected. Yet they ostensibly reject this view of Islam, so why don't such programs exist? Even more remarkable than their absence is the fact that no government or law enforcement authorities are calling upon Muslims to implement them.
Such programs must be instituted, and made transparent and open to inspection, so as to ensure their sincerity and thoroughness.
Tulsans know what happens when a Muslim does speak out and explain that Islamists aren't good Muslims.
Bureaucrats in the tank for Hillary, Trump's policy wonks quitting, why Ron Paul isn't backing the Libertarian ticket -- after the jump.